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Rain Invoking Song (Boron Dahanir Ela, 1450-1700)

This is the most renowned ancient folk song in BPM, which has been handed down through oral tradition. This song was composed at a time, when the story of the epic became very popular. Such a time came, probably, after the epic was translated into modern vernaculars, i.e., roughly afterthe first half of the 15th century. Thus, the time of this. song falls roughly between 1450 and 1700. It is believed that this song is endowed with the power of calling -forth rain. Accordingly, in times of dearth, this song is sung at night in chorus by males and females with a view to calling forth rain.

Meaning of Rain Invoking Song

1. O Saralel, the King of the gods, the land of the Khumals has become sandy because of dearth. Khaimu is making a dam with grass and other things. O King of the gods, the land of the Khumals has dried up i pray, send us rain.

2. O Rama, who will eat and drink in this sorrowfully condition ? I have given an offering of all my joys and, sorrows together with wealth to Benu (Pahampa), just as, Birabao, the son of Rabal(Ravana) Practised penance ( as a result of which ) Lasman ( Laxmana ) favoured him with flowers. O Kala, living in the neighbourhood, please call other and offer, please weep together and eat.

3. O Father Tamphi, Dumei has consulted astrology (and has visualised that) Gahga is rushing down through mountain tribulets, but Karanga, the daughter of Pahangpa, bars the on-rush. May all the gods realise our condition, but Moirang-shouId not hear about it.

4. Astrologers say that the rainlessness has been caused by Pahangpa, who is angry because of the insult shown to Chamel by the King. They advise the people to bring Chamei and Beti back to the kingdom. The second daughter of Giri (Beti) is being brought. When she reaches the vast field. she is welcome with various auspicious things and, consequently, she proceeds gorgeously like the God of Wealth (Kuvera).

5. O Midai, a woman, has suspended her weaving and speaks of Beti. Bela comes and speaks ill of Denu.

6. Chamei is hesitating to come. The women are ,abusing him, and the angry old persons tell them to welcome him with coal and sand, instead of incense. It is his good luck,, they say, that though he is very poor, Pahangpa has not punished him.

7. Rain is coming gradually. Pahangpa is also glad and is coming over the big lake(Loktak). Women are glad and are proposing to dance with their hair locked and with flowers in their ears.

8. Rain is falling cats and dogs, and persons are catching fiihes from the canals with various instruments. Persons are out to catch fish before dawn. They have forgotten to ,bring umbrellas offered by their friends. Some are tying the rice-plants. into bundles, in which silvery water-drops are seen. The leaves of arum cannot bold the rain-water. The people cannot return home owing to heavy rain. They are anxious to return home and pay offerings of mango demanded by Pahangpa, but the rain does not stop.


A Khumal King was defeated by a Moirang King, several times. Once more, he wanted to try his fortune and proposed in his ministerial council to attack the Moirang kingdom. His younger brother Cha mei objected to this, where for the enraged King insulted him and ousted him from the meeting hall. Chamei, thus insul ted ,left kingdom alone. Seeing him thus leaving, a maid-servant (beti) followed him with a few clothes for him. When the prince noticed her, he asked her to go back. But as they, were by then far from human habitation, it was not possible for her to go back. The prince, followed by the maid-servant,, reached the Kabru hill where he was cordially received by the Kukis. After a span of time, Chamei had an issue through, the maid-servant. Gradually, three years passed away. During this period, there was no rain in the Khumal kingdom, as a result of which a severe famine came upon the land.

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The Bishnupriya Manipuris By Dr. K.P. Sinha, Silchar,1984

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Last Revised  june 24, 2002, Copyright 2000,2001,2002 Ashim Singha All rights reserved.